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AutoZone and Automatic Data Processing, Non-traditional Indicators

March 04, 2009 | About:

During most recessions, the auto sector has traditionally taken it on the chin. This week, we found out some interesting news that gives us some new insight into the changing buying habits of American consumers, and perhaps, new insight on investing.

AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) reported increased sales and profits as customers lined up to fix old vehicles instead of purchasing new ones. It’s a logical and expected result of consumers saving more and splurging less.

Another lesser-known indicator, this time on jobs and joblessness, are the numbers coming from payroll heavy Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP). From the ADP Employer Service gauge we know that 697,000 jobs were cut from payrolls in February.

What these data streams tell us is that we can find investment information outside sources like the U.S. Labor Department and industry sales figures. And for astute investors, these “canaries” can give us fair warning before the official data is released.

For example, if we find out how severely some of the biggest online advertisers are cutting back, wouldn’t that information be important to know before online advertising juggernaut Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) reported it’s numbers? I would think so.

So keep your eyes and ears peeled and maybe you’ll stumble across the Holy Grail for today’s market… The sign we’ve hit bottom.

Investment U Research Team


Rating: 3.0/5 (9 votes)


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